I just 'happened' to see Holistic Parenting on the library shelf a few days ago and picked it up. I wasn't sure what to expect, but figured I would at least learn something from a few of the chapters.
I did end up reading it through and enjoying it. It's not written by a doctor, which was kind of refreshing. It was written by a wife and mother who learned the hard way, that the body is designed to heal itself. And will do so, if given the right conditions.
She gives some great info on what 'holistic' means. I think, as Christians, it's a word we are afraid of, but really should take back from mainstream. Holistic, as in 'whole', meaning, the whole body must be dealt with in any area of life. Jesus grew in 'wisdom, stature and in favor with God and men'. Our minds, bodies and emotions DO matter. God made us humans in his image. We can't concentrate on one area of our humanness, and ignore the rest. Each must be considered within it's context.
She gives a brief history of health and medicine, discusses some herbal remedies that are more general in nature and using more common herbs. And then she takes a chapter to discuss different 'branches' of holistic medicine, including: homeopathy, Ayurveda and nutrition. She has a chapter on vaccines and one on holistic dentistry as well.
It was, I thought, a rather well-rounded overview of holistic body care. She talks about the 'quack' mindset openly, which I appreciated. Homeopathy is something I have found fascinating, for whatever reason. I've read on it some and wish to read more. I have not actually used any homeopathic remedies for myself or my family, but I'm definitely not opposed. I just tend to study something until I get to a point of comfort, and then apply it, and I'm just not there yet. But then, I must confess, I may never get there with homeopathy. Because, it's not really possible to 'prove' it scientifically. And it doesn't totally make sense in a practical way. But, it does make sense in other ways.
Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is something I've found fascinating, but, like homeopathy, it's not really 'practical', so I've not done much with it.
But, one thing that I have come to appreciate about holistic, natural medicine is that it deals with the emotions as much as the body. I do not believe that a person can heal, while living a hectic, rushed, stressed lifestyle. It's just not possible. And that is something that modern medicine doesn't really deal with much. It's band-aid upon band-aid, without ever stopping to really get to the root of a problem. And getting to roots isn't easy or quick! And, the 'root' of all human suffering is spiritual ultimately. And while TCM/ayurveda does not point one to Christ, it at least points out that area is one that we have needs in, that must be met.
I was also reminded about how I have come to see the body differently then I had in the past. I used to believe, like most modern doctors, that symptoms are annoying and should be ignored or treated. However, I have come, through my study of homeopathy and nutrition in general, that the symptoms are the bodies way of talking to us. And if we ignore it, bad things will happen. Symptoms are a sign that there is something wrong . They are a clue, that we need to follow, to find the ultimate source of the problem. So we can fix it at the root and not just the symptom. So often, if we treat a symptom, that channel of detox and 'body language' simply moves to another symptom or part of the body. It's a lot easier to just deal with it from the beginning, then to end up with a long trail of issues that need to be traced back later in life, after some serious illness has struck and modern medicine proves useless in helping.
So, all of these things were brought to my attention by reading the book, and it was fun to see how far I've come in terms of over-all holistic care of our 'temples'. We are to take care of them, and I think it's great to see how people have done so throughout the ages, and use what makes sense to us. We are blessed to have a plethora of choices and examples and written words to choose from. Although sometimes it seems a curse with all it's choices...